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    Mean, Median, Mode and Range
    By Kristen

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    I've used this ideas in 4th grade but maybe you can adapt them.

    We break the concepts into two days. The first day, we discuss median, mode, and range. There are keywords for each of these: median is like the median on the highway or the middle of the data, mode is most the one that is used the most, range is the difference between the highest and lowest numbers (think of a mountain range). We practice these with data that the students might find interesting, local basketball scores, baseball statistics, class grades (made up of course).

    The next day, we discuss mean. We first do a hands-on activity with writing instruments. Each student takes out two things to write with (pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, etc). They work with a partner to cut a strip of paper to the length of each writing instrument. Then, they tape the strips together and fold into four equal pieces. They measure the length of these pieces and that is their average. Then, we discuss how this is the same as what we do mathematically. Finally, we apply it by finding the mean of the same data we used the day before.

    Your kids could probably "get it" without the hands on activity but I think it helps reinforce what exactly they are doing.

    You might also want to give some scenarios as to when you would use each- mean, median, and mode. For example, a shoe store would want to use mode to decide what shoe size to order.

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